Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Secondary Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: science and ESOL for MS/HS
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Shasta Middle School, Bethel School District
I earned a BA in biology with a minor in chemistry during my undergraduate years at Linfield College. After graduation I lived with my husband Marvin, and eventually our three children, in the Dominican Republic for almost 10 years. While there, I turned to teaching as the best employment opportunity open to a foreigner. Somewhere along the line I realized that education is where I belong. Soon after my family and I moved to Oregon several years ago, my husband began studying as an undergrad for elementary education, and I took the plunge last year for middle and high school licensure.
Why do you want to teach:
Like most secondary education subject-area specialists, my automatic answer is that I want to share my passion for my subject with my students. In all honesty, though, my favorite moment in teaching is watching a young person find a sustaining passion for learning, discovering, observing, outside of school. If this person’s passion happens to be in one of my favorite subjects, so much the better. Still, I love being part of that awakening to delight in the world, whether the particular area is science, literature, or politics.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
One year for a 10th grade biology class I set up a class zoo. Some students brought in pet store animals such as mice and turtles, one brought a pullet who later became my family’s pet, but several brought in frogs, lizards, and even a large mantis that they’d found around their homes. School administration barely tolerated the exercise, but it was a fantastic experience for the students as they began paying attention to different behaviors and needs of animals that they had always ignored. I hope that the zoo is memorable to my students for what they learned. In all honesty, however, what stands out most in my mind is the escaped frog who lived between some old folders until I startled him (and me) out of hiding at the end of the year.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program allows me to continue my studies even further so that I am prepared to address the particular learning and social needs of even more of my students. Many, many students are untouched, or not touched deeply enough, by mainstream schooling. By continuing to study for just a bit longer, I will be better equipped to help these students also to find a passion in their world.